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Comment: No one is passing the Turing Test (Score 2) 270

by quantaman (#47421961) Attached to: The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

Just because someone sets some random people up for a five minute interview with a chatbot doesn't mean they're running a Turing Test.

Give people enough time to conduct a proper conversation, hell give them time to ask the chatbot for some original content. Do that and you'll be running a real Turing Test.

The reason you keep hearing about these simplified Turing Tests is those are the only tests people run because those are the only tests computers can pass. But passing a true Turing Test is still a great standard for detecting real AI, and something no one can even approach doing yet.

Comment: Re:Pretty sure this won't work (Score 1) 308

by quantaman (#47419319) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

Yes although I'd bet money that Shelby Conklin is going to discover how unpleasant the Streisand Effect can be. She will probably now be known as the revenge porn woman.

I don't agree with her suing Tor but I disagree that this is necessarily an instance of the Streisand Effect.

Not taking action would be succumbing to a form of the heckler's veto. I suspect in a lot of cases they start out trying to get rid of the info and most stop when it becomes obvious they'll only make it more public. But in a case like this she might be willing to face the publicity because she thinks seeking justice is more important than giving up.

Comment: Re:Imperial Police (Score 1) 175

by quantaman (#47408223) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

I'm playing a bit of the devil's advocate but I'm assuming that the US has an extradition treaty with Maldives.

The US has a fairly responsible justice system when it comes to this. If a person from Russia/Nigeria/a country with a dubious court system is stealing credit card info in the US/Canada/EU I think it's absolutely appropriate for one of the latter countries to seek that individual's arrest when that person enters a jurisdiction with an extradition treaty.

So for me the US having the Maldives' police arrest and extradite this guy would be fine.

The iffy part is the US using it's own law enforcement. I can understand the US wanting to run the show so nothing goes wrong, but it definitely speaks to a general disrespect to the sovereignty of the country in question.

Comment: Re:So they don't have to ask the NSA (Score 0) 204

There's also the possibility it's there to help Russian companies (and the economy).

Facebook wants to operate in Russia? Well then they need to open up a Russian server farm and put all the Russian data in there, or pay massive arbitrary fines, or get blocked. Lots of Russian companies probably use Amazon's EC2, now Amazon either needs to put up a region located in Russia or those Russian companies need to use a Russian cloud company.

It's the same fundamental reason why Putin has been working so hard to keep Ukraine away from the EU. Russian companies suck and can't compete against the west, if cheap high quality EU goods can flow into Russia then the current Russian industry won't be able to compete. Similarly if high quality tech companies can serve Russians then the Russian tech companies can't compete. Solution? Screw with Ukraine to try and keep the EU physical goods out, and pass data laws to keep foreign websites out.

Comment: Re:I'm not so sure... (Score 1) 185

by quantaman (#47389229) Attached to: Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

If this was just a guy posting trash on Facebook I'd probably side with you. If you read the details of the case, you will find that this is not just someone ranting. This appears to be someone conspiring to commit rape, murder, and kidnapping.

I did read the details of the case and I have to disagree. He's not ranting, he's fantasizing, but there's no evidence that he ever planned to go further.

Whether the primary web site has a disclaimer or not, does not change the fact that this goes beyond the simple act of writing about a sick fantasy. He offered to kidnap someone for 5,000.00. He went and found a recipe for chloroform, then built a pulley system to string up one of the people he was talking about kidnapping and murdering.

He offered to kidnap someone, he never did kidnap them, nor did he or anyone else complain when these plans didn't happen. He said he built a pulley in the emails but he didn't actually build it, nor did he make any chloroform. Surely if you're making a criminal conspiracy involving chloroform, a human sized oven, and a pulley system then actually obtain chloroform, a human sized oven, and a pulley system.

He used a Police database illegally for the purpose of gathering personal information about the people he appeared to be conspiring against (it was more than 1). This goes well beyond simply discussing "unconventional thoughts".

Lets change the scenario a bit. If I was to claim I want to kill someone on Facebook, I'd be a person of interest but not doing anything illegal. When I go out and search for recipes for poisons, I'm still not illegal but I should be under watch, especially if the poison is generic household items which I may have on hand. Once I start illegally gathering personal information about the targets I claimed I want to kill, would I not be conspiring to commit murder? What if I owned a gun, would that be enough? (Remember that this person was a Cop and had a Gun, as well as a position of authority to abuse, and could have been legally stalking victims without anyone's knowledge on "patrols")

Ok, here's another scenario.

You really hate John and claim you want to kill him on FB. You look around for information on poisons because you're curious, or you're fantasizing about how you could kill him. And because the guy really pisses you off you become mildly obsessed and gather information using a work database (even though doing so for this purpose is unauthorized and illegal).

Yet under no scenario could you actually imagine yourself doing so much as punching John.

If you believe it's reasonable, would you want the guy as a neighbor? Invite them over over for dinner? If so, good for you. I'd prefer to see a person like this under watch and psychological monitoring at a minimum.

I wouldn't, not because he's a criminal, but just because he'd creep the hell out of me.

This is a guy who might commit a serious crime in the future, perhaps even wants to. But he has never done so, nor has he specifically planned to do so. All of his previous plans were merely elaborate fantasies that he never took a concrete step towards implementing.

Personally I'd recommend a mandatory psychological evaluation. IF that suggested he could take the step towards moving those crimes into reality then I might consider watch and mandatory counselling. Otherwise he's innocent of everything except the misuse of the database.

Comment: Holy Crap!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 54

by quantaman (#47358145) Attached to: 'Vampire' Squirrel Has World's Fluffiest Tail

Local legends suggest that Rheithrosciurus, which is thought to mostly eat giant acorns, can be savage. Hunters say that the squirrels will perch on low branches, jump onto a deer, gash its jugular vein, and disembowel the carcass. "It sounds pretty fantastical," says a skeptical Roland Kays, a zoologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. "Even more than its fluffy tail."

This sounds far too awesome to be fact checked.

Comment: Re:Distinct DNA (Score 2, Insightful) 1314

by quantaman (#47356817) Attached to: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

the idea of "when life starts" which is a philosophical, not a scientific problem

Pro-life scientists point out that an embryo is a distinct organism because it has distinct DNA. The life associated with that DNA thus begins when sperm meets egg.

Then pro-life scientists are abusing scientific terminology to justify their philosophy.

Comment: Re:One non-disturbing theory (Score 4, Insightful) 304

by quantaman (#47354745) Attached to: Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

Is that water, the ultimate solvent -- or perhaps bacteria -- are breaking down the plastics back into it's components, and the ocean (much like the oil from the BP spill) is taking care of itself.

Naw, couldn't be. Go ahead and panic, hippies!

Yeah, and everyone know that broken down oil was completely harmless.

Whatever components that plastic is breaking down into it likely contains a lot of molecules that aren't found in nature. When those molecules enter an organism there's no telling what the hell they're going to do.

I don't understand this fantasy that some people cling to that we can dump endless streams of random crap into the environment and mother nature will just magically take care of it with no consequence. People would sure as hell notice if you started dumping garbage into a lake and screwing up a beach where people swim once a week, why do you think the things that actually live in the polluted water won't be affected?

Comment: Re:RTFA (Score 2) 268

by quantaman (#47313341) Attached to: Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

I heard about a guy who went through multiple marriages and divorces, did multiple stints in prison, and eventually got some political offices.

I'm naturally talking about Nelson Mandela.

Even if the facts are true and presented impartially the selection of which facts to present or emphasize can give an inaccurate total picture.

I don't know enough about libel law or the guy in question to know if the case is legit, but you seem to have already formed an opinion of him as a scam artist based on the Wikipedia article which may not be a reliable source.

Comment: Re:Jerk off material for the Greenies (Score 3, Informative) 96

We we had a similar plant in Ontario, it was shut down because of the air pollution. It is still the biggest, by far, smokestack in the city. Burning garbage does not make it disappear, and people would rather the garbage be put somewhere they do not see it, instead of blown into their faces.

I'm not sure if it will smoke since according to the article the stuff won't actually "burn"'

There, it will be heated in a low-oxygen atmosphere. This will cause its chemical bonds to break (without the material actually burning), releasing their carbon and hydrogen content to form what's known as syngas. This will in turn be cleaned up and converted into chemical products and biofuels – such as methanol and ethanol.

Either way if the emitted chemicals are what you're looking for you're not just going to dump them out a smokestack.

Comment: Re:Jerk off material for the Greenies (Score 3, Interesting) 96

The province is conservative but Edmonton is fairly liberal (as are most cities). I actually took a tour of the waste treatment plant a few years ago and it was pretty impressive (and smelly). Back then they were talking about grinding up the non-recyclable/compostable bits and using them for asphalt filling as a way to get over 90% non-landfilled, I'm not sure if this is any of the same material they're talking about here, I don't think I'd want my highways degrading.

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